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April 27, 2011

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Olympics mascot designer sues gallery

THE designer of the cute Fuwa mascots for the 2008 Beijing Olympics sued a local art gallery for selling replicas of his work.

Han Meilin asked for compensation of 410,000 yuan (US$62,798) and a public apology from Liu Desheng, owner of the Qingqing Art Gallery on Fuzhou Road.

The artist says the gallery was selling copies of 41 of his paintings, porcelains and seals.

The plaintiff said his paintings cost 100,000 yuan on average and a recent artwork was sold for 7.6 million yuan.

Han said that he asked 10,000 yuan compensation for each piece of his work as a symbolic punishment for Liu violating his copyright.

Liu is a political adviser in Shangdong Province and has a similar gallery there, which is handled in another court case.

Han said Liu falsely claimed that Han had granted a permit for the sales in the gallery and used the arntist's image and resume to mislead the public.

However, the defendant, a fan of Han's work, claimed he merely displayed Han's work in the gallery and had never used it to make a profit.

Liu said he didn't make replicas of Han's paintings.

Those displayed in the gallery was from a calendar he bought from Han.

However, the business registration at local commercial authorities showed that the gallery is engaged in sales of artwork.

The court didn't reach a verdict.


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